College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom
Actigraph Accelerometer-Defined Boundaries for Sedentary Behaviour and Physical Activity Intensities in 7 Year Old Children
- Added on August 11, 2011
Background Accurate objective assessment of sedentary and physical activity behaviours during childhood is integral to the understanding of their relation to later health outcomes, as well as to documenting the frequency and distribution of physical activity within a population.
Purpose To calibrate the Actigraph GT1M accelerometer, using energy expenditure (EE) as the criterion measure, to define thresholds for sedentary behaviour and physical activity categories suitable for use in a large scale epidemiological study in young children.
Methods Accelerometer-based assessments of physical activity (counts per minute) were calibrated against EE measures (kcal·kg−1·hr−1) obtained over a range of exercise intensities using a COSMED K4b2 portable metabolic unit in 53 seven-year-old children. Children performed seven activities: lying down viewing television, sitting upright playing a computer game, slow walking, brisk walking, jogging, hopscotch and basketball. Threshold count values were established to identify sedentary behaviour and light, moderate and vigorous physical activity using linear discriminant analysis (LDA) and evaluated using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis.
Results EE was significantly associated with counts for all non-sedentary activities with the exception of jogging. Threshold values for accelerometer counts (counts·minute−1) were <100 for sedentary behaviour and ≤2240, ≤3840 and ≥3841 for light, moderate and vigorous physical activity respectively. The area under the ROC curves for discrimination of sedentary behaviour and vigorous activity were 0.98. Boundaries for light and moderate physical activity were less well defined (0.61 and 0.60 respectively). Sensitivity and specificity were higher for sedentary (99% and 97%) and vigorous (95% and 91%) than for light (60% and 83%) and moderate (61% and 76%) thresholds.
Conclusion In conclusion, the Actigraph GT1M accelerometer can be used to identify sedentary behaviour and to discriminate between light, moderate and vigorous activity in 7 year old children. The cut points defined in the current study will be useful in interpreting physical activity data from the MCS, as well as other studies examining sedentary behaviours physical activity in children of this age.
- Richard M. Pulsford 1
- Mario Cortina-Borja 2
- Carly Rich 2
- Florence-Emilie Kinnafick 3
- Carol Dezateux 2
- Lucy J. Griffiths 2
Medical Research Council Centre of Epidemiology for Child Health, University College London Institute of Child Health, London, United Kingdom
School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom